Giving Back

Scotch Plains-Fanwood 9th Annual MLK Day of Service Schedule for Mon, Jan. 15

Girl Scouts from Troop 40945, and other volunteers, make sandwiches for a homeless shelter at a Martin Luther King Day of Service event. Credits: Brian Horton

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- The 9th annual Scotch Plains-Fanwood MLK Day of Service is takes place this Monday, Jan. 15. The Opening Program begins at the JCC at 10:00 a.m. Adults and families are welcome to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Volunteer opportunities take place from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all MLK Day activities.

The first annual SP/F Martin Luther King Day of Service was held in 2010. Since that first year the Scotch Plains Fanwood MLK Day of Service has grown to have over 1000 volunteers each year and includes 20-30 activities. 

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MLK Day 2018 Planning Committee co-chairs are Michelle Shapiro Abraham, Amanda Barnett & Courtney Agnello. Members include Rabbi Joel Abraham (Ministerium), Joanne Sprague (YMCA), Kimberly Koza (JCC), Leland McGee, Jim Meyer, and Delois Dawson.

MLK Day of Service projects include:

Collection for Our Military Troops
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
JCC of Central NJ - Front Lobby
Suggested donations: Books/Magazines/Puzzle, Jigsaw Puzzles, Writing materials (pens, paper etc.), Foam Footballs/Basketballs/Frisbees, Cocoa/Coffee/Tea, Protein Bars, Snacks (Cookies/Chips/Pretzels), Candy/Gum (please no chocolate), Travel sized toiletries (avoid aerosol cans), Baby wipes/eye drops/lip balm, Lotion/Gold Bond, Deck of Cards
Making Pillowcases for Children's Hospitals 
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Urban SEWCiety, 307 South Avenue W. Westfield
Cut and sew a pillowcase to donate to a Children's Hospital. Participants must bring $5 to cover the cost of materials.
Food Pantry Collection
11:00 a.m.
1340 Martine Avenue
Bring non-perishables to donate to the Scotch Plains food pantry.
Making Cards for Sick Children and Their Families
11:00 - 11:15 a.m.
Create a card or note of cheer for sick children and their families at "Liam's Room." Please donate a new or gently used DVD or X-Box game to participate. The items will be donated to the children of "Liam's Room."
Sock and Underwear Drive
11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
IHM, 1571 Martine Ave. Scotch Plains - Nazarene Center
Collecting socks and underwear for Park Hotel in Plainfield.
Shoe Collection
11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Ivy Educational Services, Fanwood
Collecting shoes to raise money for Mane Stream, which improves the quality of life for individuals with physical, developmental, emotional and medical challenges through a diverse program of equine assisted activities, therapy and educational initiatives. The shoes will go to an organization called Shoebox Recycling which keeps shoes out of landfills and provides affordable footwear to people in developing nations.
Sports Equipment Sort
11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Participants will prepare donated sports equipment for shipment to various overseas charities. Equipment will be collected, sorted, cleaned, and packed up. Participants are encouraged to bring paper towels as well as any used sports equipment they would like to donate. (Donations of sports equipment are not required to help with this activity.)
Health Kits for the Homeless
11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
2387 Morse Avenue, Scotch Plains
SJBC Youth Ministry will be making health kits for Homeless and Low Income families. The health kits will be given to Family Promise of Union County. Items should be able to fit into a 1 gallon zip lock bag. Donations sought: tooth brushes, 2.5 oz tooth paste, dental floss, bars of soap, wash cloths, 8 oz. shampoo, deodorant, adult size socks.
Weekend Bags for Children's Specialized Hospital
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
One challenge for families while their child is living at our New Brunswick in-patient hospital is feeding themselves and the rest of the family during their child's stay. Families often forget about themselves because they are so concerned with their child's health, and limited funds really narrow their options. We will be packing weekend snack bags with non-perishable food so each family at CSH has one less thing to worry about during their child's stay.
Soups and Seniors 
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
IHM Nazareth Center
We will be serving soup and sandwiches to seniors while running bingo, doing a craft and playing games.
Bone Marrow Drive
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
JCC of Central NJ - Front Lobby
Come and get swabbed for bone marrow!
Ages 18+
Sandwich Making for the Hungry
12:30 - 1:00 p.m.
YMCA Kitchen
Please arrive with sliced bread and meat/cheese to make and bag sandwiches together. This is great activity for a Boy or Girl Scout troop, sports team, family and friends or religious/community group to do together. Bring at least two loaves of sliced bread per person and 1-2 pounds of meat and cheese. The Y will supply baggies and plastic gloves and transport the sandwiches to the Plainfield Salvation Army and Homeless Shelter at the Plainfield YMCA after the event.
Making Boxes for Thoughts & Quotes for Food Bank Gifts
12:30 - 1:00 p.m.
Fanwood Presbyterian Church dining room
This event is for ages 8 and older.  Participants need to be able to use scissors. We will be making small boxes filled with thought or quote notes that will be given to food bank customers. Enter Fanwood Presbyterian Church by the ramp. 
Making Blankets for Donation
12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Temple Sholom - Scotch Plains
Ages 13+ welcome
Sewing ability helpful but not necessary.  Donations of yarn are always welcome.
Pillowcases for Children's Hospitals
12:30 - 2:00 p.m.
Urban SEWCiety, 307 South Avenue W. Westfield
Cut and sew a pillowcase to donate to a Children's Hospital. Participants must bring $5 to cover the cost of materials.
Making Blankets for Donation
1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Temple Sholom, Scotch Plains
Ages 13+ welcome
Sewing ability helpful but not necessary.  Donations of yarn are always welcome.
Valentines for the Vets
2:30 - 3:30 pm.
Participants will make Valentines to be deliver to our military veterans. Bring some colorful paper, Valentines and stickers to share with the group.
Formal Wear Collection for Jersey City Girls' School Prom
2:30 - 4:00 p.m.
JCC Scotch Plains
A collection of formal wear for the girls of St. Dominic Academy in Jersey City. They will have a shopping day in March where they can come and shop dresses, shoes and accessories to wear for their prom. Please bring formal dresses in great condition (dry cleaned if possible,) as well as formal shoes and accessories.
To view the entire list of activities, click here
Sponsored by: Social Justice Matters, Township of Scotch Plains, Borough of Fanwood, Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA, JCC, of Central New Jersey, and the Scotch Plains/Fanwood Ministirium.

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